Simply put, 2014 is a big year for electronic health record vendors. They must adhere to stricter standards under the federal government's meaningful use program while convincing healthcare providers that they can meet future needs for information exchange, patient engagement and data analytics. Not everyone will make the cut.
Stories by Brian Eastwood
The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care has more than 100 TB of Medicare claims data. This information, combined with peer-reviewed medical research, informs healthcare policy and helps institutions compare their quality metrics. Like any good atlas, it also uses data-driven maps to prove its points.
Healthcare is all about people -- not just the patients a hospital sees but, also, the professionals who take care of them. Those employees can be hard to manage, especially as healthcare models evolve. Before long, inefficiencies emerge and costs skyrocket. Learn how one hospital used human resources software to stop the proverbial bleeding.
If the accountable care organization is to avoid the fate of the health maintenance organization, then ACOs need to take advantage of the data that HMOs lacked in the 1990s -- and realize that holding, viewing and using data are different concepts that each come with different issues.
Healthcare is broken. No one disputes that. No one lacks perspective on how to fix it, either. The challenge, though, is disrupting a system that makes more money treating sickness than it does preventing it. Technology and innovation can play a part, but so can flipping the entire care model on its head.
Ever the risk-averse industry, healthcare is finally beginning to trust cloud for the storage of protected health information. Experts credit better cloud security, dropping costs and the growing need for disparate organizations to share information. What's more, this only appears to be the tip of the healthcare cloud iceberg.
No one disputes the healthcare industry's need to apply technology to the patient care process -- or difficulty of doing it. In that vein, the recent Center for Connected Health Symposium examined innovations that could change care delivery as well as the drivers that will help the industry get there.
Miami Children's Hospital has invested heavily in technology -- from patient-facing mobile apps to a telehealth center with a global reach. CIO Edward Martinez says getting the hospital board to see the benefits of such technology means putting IT strategy in the context of business strategy.
Improving efficiency and cutting costs in healthcare means better collaborating with patients. Web portals and mobile applications can help, but only if they connect with the myriad systems that doctors actually use. Organizations can't forget that a little empathy goes a long way, too.
HIPAA understandably makes it hard for organizations to obtain personal health information and even harder to use that information for the purpose of data analysis. Empowering patients to own and share their own data -- and then assuring them that it's being properly de-identified -- can ease this process.
While Iceland has long been touted as an ideal spot for a data center, companies have been slow to take advantages of its climate, renewable energy and government incentives. Risk Management Solutions, though, jumped at the chance to put its new cloud environment on the Nordic island.
The health insurance exchanges set to launch on Oct. 1 may not be as robust as the typical Web-based consumer application. But they will improve over time, one expert familiar with the online insurance marketplaces says, and as they do they will begin to change the way many Americans buy health insurance.
Data breaches threaten healthcare organizations from all angles -- from hackers, thieves and forgetful employees -- and touch all facets of IT infrastructure. Updated HIPAA rules make organizations responsible for the actions of their business associates, too. Healthcare IT security is a daunting task, but with a little planning, it's not an impossible one.
Many obstacles face firms hoping to deploy unified communications, from technology that doesn't integrate to users who don't want to give up PBX systems. But organisations that are willing to fight the good fight stand to reap the benefits of a workforce that travels less, collaborates more and works faster.
Healthcare, like most industries, finds its hard to meet the mobility desires of employees (caregivers) and customers (patients). But while healthcare struggles with unique legal and regulatory impediments that other fields don't face, it's also poised to gain much more from what some call a 'mobile revolution.'